Area gunfire puts Berkeley’s LeConte school on lockdown

leconte
LeConte Elementary School was on lockdown today, Thursday Jan. 9. Photo: LeConte

LeConte Elementary School was put on lockdown at 2:15 p.m. today after the Berkeley police responded to an attempted robbery in the school’s neighborhood where a gun was fired.

There were no reported injuries to people or property during the incident, and the lockdown at LeConte was lifted at 2:30 p.m. before the end of the school day.

According to Berkeley Police Department spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, at approximately 1:54 p.m. officers responded to a call about a loud report in the area of the 2900 block of Deakin Street, which is immediately south of the school which is situated at 2247 Russell St., between Telegraph and Shattuck avenues.

“As officers responded it was reported that a male subject was seen running from the area and possibly jumped a fence in the 2900 block of Deakin,” she said by email.


“Officers arrived on scene and located a victim reporting a possibly robbery attempt. The victim was struck from behind with a gun during the incident and the gun went off.  No one was struck with the bullet and there is no reported property damage at this point.”

Because the police thought the suspect might have jumped a fence, officers conducted a check of a yard. They also advised LeConte staff that they should keep students inside until the search was completed, because of the proximity of the school to the incident.

“During the investigation we developed information that the suspect may have fled the area in a beige or green compact vehicle,” Off. Coats said.

According to Berkeley Unified School District spokesman Mark Coplan, students who normally walk home from the school were held back and their guardians were alerted that they needed to be picked up.

LeConte Principal Veronica Valerio said the lockdown went smoothly. In a voicemail message to the school community she said all students, staff and community members on campus were safely secured in the facility during the lockdown. She continued: “All students, staff and community members were cooperative and operated safely according to our site emergency plan.”


This story was updated as new information was gathered.

Want a digest of Berkeley news in your inbox once a day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.